A HIGH-security prison in Worcestershire has "lost its way" with a high number of assaults on staff. 

A report into HMP Long Lartin in South Littleton, near Evesham, also found the rate of self-harm had doubled since the last inspection and was the highest among comparable prisons.

Inspectors visited the prison unannounced between December 5 and 16 last year and at the time it was holding 478 prisoners. 

The prisoners are serving long or indeterminate sentences and are considered to pose a significant risk of harm to the public.

The prison was described in the report as needing urgent attention.

Worcester News: STAFF ATTACKS: HMP Long LartinSTAFF ATTACKS: HMP Long Lartin

Inspectors found poor conditions in the prison with staff battling with rodent infestations and heating and often water not working. 

Roofs at the ageing facility were leaking; there were no in-cell toilets in older wings and men relied on buckets which they emptied out of their cell windows as they waited so long for them to be removed and cleaned as the smell became unbearable.

Men spent most of their time locked alone in cells and described a sense of hopelessness. 

Staff at the prison reported that the lack of working opportunities, which they were unable to deliver due to severe staff shortages, had also led to the rise in self-harm.

Among the priority concerns listed in the report are:


  • Levels of violence were too high, especially against staff.
  • The safety team was under-resourced and work to address the causes of violence remained limited.
  • The prison’s infrastructure was in need of investment.
  • Prisoners spent too much time locked up and the regime was delivered inconsistently.
  • Provision of education, training and work was insufficient.
  • Prisoners had insufficient contact with offender managers to support risk reduction and sentence progression.


Among the attacks at the prison this paper has reported on in recent years is David Bieber, who used a homemade pronged iron bar to repeatedly stab a female prison officer, and Jordan Bailey-Mascoll who was given more jail time for assaulting prison staff.

In 2017 memorably inmates armed with pool cues and balls set a fire as they trashed their wing during a mutiny at the prison.


READ MORE: Long Lartin prison mutiny - wing left 'uninhabitable'

READ MORE: David Bieber given second life term for HMP Long Lartin attack

READ MORE: Jordan Bailey-Mascoll jailed following Worcester Crown Court trial


Charlie Taylor, chief inspector of prisons said: “High-security prisons hold some of the most dangerous prisoners in England and Wales, and their first priority must of course be protecting the public by keeping them securely within prison walls.

"But reducing the risk posed by these men is also a vital part of the work of high-security prisons - they should be supported in understanding their offending behaviour so that the risk that they pose to prison staff and other prisoners while detained, and to the public on release, is reduced.

"Long Lartin (is not) fulfilling this function effectively and they are not even discharging their duty to maintain clean and decent facilities.

Worcester News: REPORT: Staff at HMP Long Lartin have been asked to produce a reportREPORT: Staff at HMP Long Lartin have been asked to produce a report (Image: PA)

“Nobody should be held in the squalid conditions we saw. The way a prison is maintained sends a strong signal about its general healthiness.”

The report summary concluded: "Leaders should make sure that all concerns identified are addressed and that progress is tracked through a plan which sets out how and when the concerns will be resolved.

"The plan should be provided to HMI Prisons."